While religious service attendance has decreased for all white Americans since the early 1970s, the rate of decline has been more than twice as high for those without college degrees compared to those who graduated from college, according to new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.
“Our study suggests that the less educated are dropping out of the American religious sector, similarly to the way in which they have dropped out of the American labor market,” said lead researcher W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.
The study focuses on whites because black and Latino religiosity is less divided by education and income. Most whites who report a religious affiliation are Catholics, evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, Mormons, or Jews.
Relying on nationally representative data from the General Social Survey and the National Survey of Family Growth, the study finds that moderately educated whites—those who have a high school degree but who did not graduate from a 4-year college—attended religious services in the 1970s at about the same rate as the most educated whites—those who at a minimum graduated from a 4-year college—but they attended at much lower frequencies in the 2000s.
I would not make the leap in assuming this means lower-income less educated Americans are becoming rational secular humanists. It only means what it says, they are less involved with organized religion. One irony of this trend is that if conservatives believe church attendance is the road to a more moral USA, than they should be encouraging public policy that gets people prepared for college by the time they graduate from high school. They should also support for funding for college grants and loans. By doing so they’d increase the church attendance they say they care about.
This is a few months old, but some may have missed it. Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz offers up a daunting possibility about the five decade long trend toward the U.S. having the worse income inequality of all western nations, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
Economists long ago tried to justify the vast inequalities that seemed so troubling in the mid-19th century—inequalities that are but a pale shadow of what we are seeing in America today. The justification they came up with was called “marginal-productivity theory.” In a nutshell, this theory associated higher incomes with higher productivity and a greater contribution to society. It is a theory that has always been cherished by the rich. Evidence for its validity, however, remains thin. The corporate executives who helped bring on the recession of the past three years—whose contribution to our society, and to their own companies, has been massively negative—went on to receive large bonuses. In some cases, companies were so embarrassed about calling such rewards “performance bonuses” that they felt compelled to change the name to “retention bonuses” (even if the only thing being retained was bad performance).
[ ]…But one big part of the reason we have so much inequality is that the top 1 percent want it that way. The most obvious example involves tax policy. Lowering tax rates on capital gains, which is how the rich receive a large portion of their income, has given the wealthiest Americans close to a free ride. Monopolies and near monopolies have always been a source of economic power—from John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the last century to Bill Gates at the end. Lax enforcement of anti-trust laws, especially during Republican administrations, has been a godsend to the top 1 percent. Much of today’s inequality is due to manipulation of the financial system, enabled by changes in the rules that have been bought and paid for by the financial industry itself—one of its best investments ever. The government lent money to financial institutions at close to 0 percent interest and provided generous bailouts on favorable terms when all else failed. Regulators turned a blind eye to a lack of transparency and to conflicts of interest.
We can find a poll that thinks the wealthy are not taxed enough, but when people go into the voting booth they vote the way all the commercials run by conservative anti-tax interests groups say to vote. Messages echoed by a well-organized media machine. And the issue is far from being the simplistic and false crazy Marxist lefties want to take all your hard-earned income versus the virtuous Right who always spends money wisely. It’s largely about making taxes about what they were under the Right’s saint Ronald Reagan.
Untamed Youth was released in (1957). The plot summary at IMDB reads, “Sisters Jane and Penny are arrested for hitchhiking on their way to Los Angeles when they stop for a quick skinny dip in a rural town. Local agricultural magnate Trump is a sponsor for a local prison work program and the women get put in the fields to work off their sentence. Trump is dating the widowed judge in order to ensure a stable supply of cheap labor in order to undercut his competition.” According to Wikipedia the star of Untamed, Mamie Van Doren was the first woman to sing rock and roll in a Hollywood musical.
Untamed Youth movie trailer